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Dear Luca,

I am a 33-year-old manager of the accounting section in my company. Recently, I stumbled upon the salary information of one of my associates, who is also 33, and was taken aback to discover that they earn nearly as much as I do. This was completely accidental, but it has left me feeling frustrated and undervalued.

I work long hours and have taken on significant responsibilities in my role. Realising that my compensation is so close to that of an associate, without the managerial duties, makes me question my value to the company. What should I do in this situation? Am I justified in feeling this way, and how should I approach this issue with my employer?


Frustrated Manager

Luca Responds

Dear Frustrated Manager,

As a 33-year-old manager of the accounting section in your company, it’s disheartening to accidentally discover that an associate, also 33, earns nearly as much as you. This revelation naturally leads to feelings of frustration and undervaluation, especially considering your extensive responsibilities and long working hours. I can relate to this experience personally, as I’ve encountered similar situations with some of my clients.

In these scenarios, it’s crucial to employ diplomacy and strategic thinking. While your feelings are justified, how you address this issue is key to a positive outcome. Remember, salaries can be influenced by various factors, including negotiation skills, individual talents, or market conditions at the time of hiring. It’s not always a direct reflection of your value versus your associate’s.

Before discussing this with your employer, arm yourself with information. Research the market rates for both your and your associate’s roles. This knowledge will provide a clearer understanding of where you both stand in relation to industry standards.

When you’re ready to talk to your employer, focus on your contributions and value to the company. Highlight your achievements, responsibilities, and dedication. Argue for a raise based on your own merits and market research, rather than the salary of your associate.

Also, reflect on your career goals and how your current position and salary align with them. This reflection will guide you in setting a clear and focused agenda for your discussions.

It’s important to address this matter, as staying silent and harbouring resentment can lead to growing dissatisfaction. This discontent can impact your concentration and, ultimately, your performance.

Approach the conversation seeking fairness and acknowledgment of your worth, not from a place of resentment towards your associate. With the right strategy and a diplomatic approach, you can effectively make your case and work towards a resolution that recognises your value to the company.

Wishing you the best,

The Money Coach, from the Money Coaching Hub


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